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‘Joined-up’ thinking and cross sector collaboration can make Scotland a leader in Sustainable Development

Launched at the start of May, our new report – Improving Policy Coherence in Scotland – aims to bring together civil society and Government to make Scotland a leader in its approach to sustainable development.

It asks all of us – government officials, politicians and civil society – to think systematically and recommends using an open source online platform to enable a collaborative approach to policy development.

The report’s main messages are timely, as the current COVID-19 crisis continues to make many of us re-think how we live and work, and crucially, reflect on what it means to live in an interdependent, interconnected world.

Supported by the SCVO, Oxfam Scotland, Christian Aid Scotland, SCIAF and Tearfund Scotland, the report sets out clearly why our future prosperity, at home and overseas, depends on our ability to see the bigger picture, identify common goals and ensure our actions don’t undermine one another.

Acknowledging that this is difficult with competing priorities across society, the report outlines how the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament can propel Scotland towards more coherent, joined-up policy making that puts people and planet first.

Whether the goal is ending poverty in other countries, creating a well-being economy here at home or protecting our shared environment, we must find ways to ensure progress in one area is not at the expense of others.

We argue strongly that our governing institutions can lead by example as we seek to live up to our commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our Government and Parliament must be a leading light in fostering a culture of joined-up thinking. Be it the way we measure our global footprint, the way we scrutinise legislation, or how we engage stakeholders to develop policy – the principles of sustainable development must be ever present.

By doing so, Scotland can demonstrate global leadership on our commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals and set an example as a good Global Citizen to the rest of the world.

But this isn’t just about government, it’s about all of us. That’s why our report also calls for broad cross-sector collaboration on developing Scotland’s approach to sustainable development.

We are asking stakeholders from across civil society and Government to think about the broader impacts of what they do, and contribute to a growing body of work on this issue. In doing so, we firmly believe we can inform better, more coherent policy making in Scotland.

This is all underpinned by the premise that no one has all the solutions, so Government policy is always better thought through when it is transparently co-developed by a range of stakeholders.

So, get involved – the Improving Policy Coherence in Scotland Website is open source and editable, designed to allow users to create and collaboratively edit pages easily with no prior experience.

Check out the report

Join us for our digital launch event

On 3rd June 2020, the Alliance will host a digital launch event for this work, including a panel discussion and Q&A. Find out more and book your place here.

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